Debbie Nez Manuel
NEA Big Read Partner 2021
About Debbie Nez Manuel
Debbie Nez-Manuel is a longtime community leader and activist. Ms. Nez-Manuel is a profoundly impactful advocate for people of color in urban, rural, and remote communities around Arizona. She has extensive experience and expertise in mobilizing citizens into deep and meaningful community engagement. Ms. Nez-Manuel grew up on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona and has lived in the Phoenix metro area for three decades. She has had a successful career with Casey Family Programs in their partnership with Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Ms. Nez-Manuel has a comprehensive and exceptional understanding of the complexities surrounding the victimization of Native American women and girls. She was instrumental to the unanimous passage in the Arizona Senate and House of HB 2570, monumental legislation establishing a 21-member Study Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The bill was the first of its kind in the nation, and other states are following suit. The election of Ms. Nez-Manuel in the Democratic party in January 2020 was a historic milestone for the Arizona Democratic Party as she became its first Indigenous National Committee Person.
Debbie is Tséníjíkiní – a Navajo clan also known as the Cliff Dweller People. She is born for the Tsénahabiłnii, Sleepy Rock People. Her maternal grandchild of the Tsi’naajinii, Black Streaked Forest People and the paternal granddaughter to the Tábąąhí, Waters Edge People. Debbie Nez-Manuel originates from the Navajo Nation and grew up in Klagetoh Arizona. Today Debbie resides with her husband and children in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.